Former Dodger Jose Lima Dead at 37
The former pitcher was found in full cardiac arrest at his home in Pasadena Sunday morning.
Jose Lima (Photo: Courtesy Los Angeles Dodgers)
Paramedics found the former major league pitcher in full cardiac arrest at his home early Sunday, and he was taken to a hospital where he was pronounced dead.
Police say the Los Angeles County coroner's officials will perform an autopsy to determine a specific cause of death.
Lima played for six major league teams over his 13-year career. He last pitched in the majors for the New York Mets in 2006.
He played for the Los Angeles Dodgers in the 2004-2005 season.
Dodgers owner Frank McCourt issued the following statement Sunday:
"We are shocked and saddened to learn of the tragic loss of Jose Lima. Though he was taken from us way too soon, he truly lived his life to the fullest and his personality was simply unforgettable. He had the ability to light up a room and that's exactly what he did every time I saw him. His memorable contributions to the Dodgers in 2004 and throughout baseball will always be remembered. Our deepest condolences and prayers go out to his family during this extremely difficult time."
With the Dodgers, Lima had a record of 13-5, with a 4.07 ERA.
He made the club as a non-roster invitee following Spring Training of 2004 and went 13-5 during the regular season, leading the Dodgers to their first National League West Division Championship since 1995.
One of the highlights of his career came on October 9, 2004 in the NLDS when he pitched a 5-hit shutout against the St. Louis Cardinals in front of a sell-out crowd at Dodger Stadium.
It was the Dodgers first postseason win since Game 5 of the 1988 World Series.
The Dominican-born right-hander further endeared himself to fans when he sang the National Anthem prior to a home game at Dodger Stadium in 2004 and performed with his band at the Dodgers' annual Viva Los Dodgers celebration.
Lima had started working as a member of the Dodger Alumni Association in the past few months, and was preparing to open a youth baseball academy in Los Angeles this summer.
He was also scheduled for a musical performance at a Viva Los Dodgers event this summer.
He attended a game at Dodger Stadium on Friday night and received a rousing ovation from the crowd when he was introduced between innings.
Lima pitched 13 seasons in the Major Leagues with Detroit, Houston, Kansas City, Los Angeles and the New York Mets. His career record was 89-102 with a 5.26 ERA.
He posted his best season in 1999 when he was selected to the All-Star game. He went 21-10 in 35 starts with a 3.58 ERA for the NL Central champion Astros.
Funeral arrangements are pending.